Sunday, June 1, 2014

Graduation - How Can That Be?

Our oldest son graduated from high school last weekend.  (Insert crying mama!)

How did that happen?

Didn't we just bring him home from the hospital?

Jacob at just a few weeks old.
Didn't we just watch him take his first steps?

Lose his first tooth?

Have an overnight for the first time - away from home and family?

Where did the time go?

There we sat, however,  in a gymnasium.  Folding chairs lined up.  A podium.  Proud parents with cameras.  A group of teens donning red and white caps and gowns. All the things you'd expect for a graduation ceremony.

It was a bit surreal.

We arrived and they handed him his cap and gown.  As he unwrapped it and slipped it on, the tears welled up in my eyes.

Could this really be happening? Could our little boy be getting ready to graduate from high school?

The answer - a resounding yes.

The day was filled with proud moments.

He graduated as Valedictorian.  Gave a well spoken speech about Endings and Beginnings.  Thanking those who have helped all the seniors get where they are and encouraging his fellow classmates to 'keep learning' and in so doing how they could succeed in whatever they set their minds toward.

Following the move of the tassel to the 'graduated side' of the cap.

Tears were shed.

Pride was exuded.

Memories were reminisced.

Did I mention tears were shed?

This marks a new era for us.  This is our FIRST child to graduate and get ready to move on with his own life.

Three days after his graduation, he went to stay with his aunt in town (30 minutes away) so he could be within walking distance of his new internship at the university.  (Insert crying mama - again.)  We'll bring him home on weekends, but still... 4-5 days a week.... he'll. be. GONE!

My head knows this is the 'normal progression' of life.

Kids are born then spend the rest of their days preparing to leave us.  It's how God designed it.

Our task was to get him ready for just such a time as this.  Through God's grace and wisdom, we have gotten him to this point.  He is now ready to begin spreading his own wings and taking flight without our safety net.

My heart, on the other hand, still wants to hold on.  Still wants to keep MY wings under him to lift him up, support him, keep him from falling.

Yet, I realize full well that it's actually GOD'S hands that will lift him up as he ventures out on his own.  Plus I know HE will do a far better job than I ever could.

You know what else I understand?  It's ok to have these mixed emotions.

Each child will be a little different.  This one -- our firstborn -- is ready to spread his wings and start exploring life on his own (to a degree) just 3 short days after graduation.  The next may not be so quick to leave the nest.  The one after that may be even more adventurous.  Who knows?

Proud parents with the graduate!

Only time will tell.

This change is tough.  It hurts to look over and NOT see my precious little boy sitting at his desk; sleeping in his bed; eating at his spot at the table.

But, I have the memories of when he WAS there.  I have the knowledge that we did our best.  I have the assurance he is in the capable hands of God as he moves forward -- on his own -- in this world.

Congratulations, Jacob!  We are so very proud of you.  I know God has big plans for your life.  Stay true to your faith and keep following God's will in your life and you'll be blessed beyond measure.